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What is the maximum

  1. May 21, 2007 #1
    What is the "maximum"

    I don't understand what this is supposed to mean when used with a set of numbers like:

    maximum of {x,y}

    Can anybody help?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2007 #2
    Are x and y independent variables?
  4. May 21, 2007 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Plot these numbers as a smooth line:


    What is the local maximum around x=0?
  5. May 22, 2007 #4
    Is {x,y} a set of coordinates on the curve? Or are they the actual point of the relative maximum.
  6. May 22, 2007 #5
    Well if you mean extremas, then you {x,y} must be a stationary point where the gradient of the tangent is equal to 0.

    If so, then it is talking about the nature of the curve. An example is:
    consider the graphs of the following...
    y=x^2, at x=0, it is a minimum stationary point.
    y=-x^2, at x=0, it is a maximum stationary point.
  7. May 23, 2007 #6


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Based on what you wrote,

    maximum of {x,y} =
    x, if x>=y
    y, otherwise
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